International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a day which recognises the LGBTQI+ community globally. It is a reminder of the steps that still need to be taken to create greater inclusion and combat the discrimination this community faces.
Medibank’s Risk Manager, Sarah Geistendor, is a passionate ally of the LGBTQI+ community and says her drive for fairness and equality is something that has always been with her.
“When everyone is treated equal, with opportunities to try new things without discrimination, so they can grow and develop freely, the world will become a much better place to live.
Medibank’s Passion + Pride network, of which Sarah co-leads the Employee Experience stream, is a place for both LGBTQI+ employees and allies to create conversations to drive change and inclusion.
“Our role is to foster a safe space and let people know they can come and talk to us. We also aim to break down any stigmas out there about the LGBTQI+ community. It’s about showing we are right behind them and in complete support as we all work towards equality,” Sarah explains.
Sarah (third from left) with some of her fellow Medibank’s Passion + Pride team.
This week, Medibank’s Passion + Pride network have been working to help employees understand what can be done to stamp out prejudice and educating people on how they can speak up and take action.
Sarah says, “it’s important for people to understand that much of this discrimination comes from ignorance, which is why education is so important.”
Medibank maintains and continues to drive a diverse and inclusive culture, which Sarah proudly says played a strong role in her decision to be part of the business.
“One of the reasons I joined Medibank was seeing the great work the organisation does out in the community. I’ve always been a big advocate for fairness, whether it be for the LGBTQI+ community, or the Indigenous or culturally diverse populations. For me, fairness is number one.”
“I’m proudly part of an organisation where employees have the opportunity to join in causes they’re passionate about. There are like-minded people around me, fantastic networks and really strong support systems for everyone.”
Sarah with colleagues during Wear It Purple Day.
Being an ally for the LGBTQI+ community, Sarah explains, takes many forms.
“People can be a quiet or loud ally, it doesn’t matter. The best thing we can do is speak up if we hear anyone talking disparagingly about the community or others in general. Changing one person’s mind at a time may seem like a small step but it’ll create a volume of change.”
For more information about the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) visit https://www.idahobit.org.au/.